STORYBOOK Soldiers is a free, confidential recording service allowing Forces personnel to record a bedtime story that can be played for their children if the Army requires them to be away.

Your soldier will have their story and a personal message recorded by trained staff and can choose from more than 50 popular books, with Guess How Much I Love You and The Gruffalo being firm favourites. Aliens Love Underpants always raises a smile and Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs is also a popular choice.

Jen Russell, from the Tidworth-based team, explained: “Recordings are sent to our office and edited by volunteer editors who add music and sound effects.

“Your children will be sent their completed CD of the story and they can then hear their parent’s voice whenever they want to. It normally takes about four weeks from receipt in Tidworth.”

Run by Army wives and funded by ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, Annington Trust and the Army Central Fund, Storybook Soldiers is hugely popular with families.

Jen added: “We get lots of positive feedback – it’s what keeps our editors going.”

One family told the team: “What a beautiful gift! My son lit up when he heard his daddy’s voice and I cried buckets. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving my son the chance to continue our nightly story time with daddy.”

Send an email to storybooksoldiers@hotmail.co.uk or call 01980 650515 to find the nearest recording centre or visit www.storybooksoldiers.co.uk for more information.

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